Cigar Details: Southern Draw Code Duello Limitada 2016 Firethorn
- Vitola: Perfecto
- Length: 5″
- Ring Gauge: 58
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Rosado
- Binder: Mexican San Andrés
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Factory: Tabacalera Fernandez
- Blender: Robert Holt
- Price: $10.99
- Release Date: August 2016
- Source: Southern Draw
The wrapper is a medium brown with some very fine veins. The seams are nearly invisible and the caps are perfectly applied. This cigar is an interesting shape as it is a box-pressed perfecto. There is a belicoso type head and then at the foot a very drastic reduction in ring gauge with a small open nipple. The cigar has two bands, the standard Southern Draw band and a secondary band with the Firethorn name. Both bands are gold and multiple shades of red. The cigar actually comes as a two pack and has a blue band that wraps both cigars and has the Code Duello name on it. The aroma from the wrapper is a light barnyard. With the foot being barely open, I get a slight tobacco sweetness, but otherwise it’s mainly the same light barnyard from the wrapper. The pre-light draw brings a light, sweet hay.
The Southern Draw Code Duello Limitada 2016 Firethorn has a smooth, fine sandpaper like Colorado Claro shade wrapper. Veins are well pressed and seams tight. Cigar feels well bunched and rolled providing a structured give. Head is finished off with a well adhere triple cap. Wrapper smells of namely dry white pepper and cedar. Foot smells of intense black pepper and cedar. Cold draw tells dry cardboard, cedar and faint black pepper.
Initial draws bring a good dose of oak and cream. There is also a little pepper in the background. After a few draws, the burn area increases to the full ring gauge and the cream goes away while the oak remains and becomes slightly drying. The retrohale is primarily oak with a slight pepper finish. At three quarters of an inch, a bit of cream comes back to the profile causing the oak to not be so dry. Nearing the end of the third, the oak becomes a bit younger and greener which is a pleasant change. There is also an increase in the pepper level. On the retrohale, an intense spiciness appears and gives a good zing through my nostrils. The strength in this third is slightly above medium.
First thirds initial half inch is within the plant varietal, in the form of hay and smokey wood. After the initial half inch, distinctive herbs and spices mixes into the profile via dry black pepper and baking spices. There is also an underlying medium-light bodied creamy sweetness paired with dry nuts. Through the nose, elevated levels of black pepper and cedar. The finish is lengthy with black pepper on the rear palate and slightly smokey wood on the entire palate. Body and strength is at the medium mark within the entire first third.
As this third begins, some bitterness joins in with the oak, pepper and mild cream. The retrohale still has a decent spice to it. Half an inch in, some minerality comes into the profile to mix with the oak, pepper and bitterness while the cream has completely gone away. At the one inch mark, the bitterness increases and the oak moves to the background. The pepper has left the profile. As the third comes to a close, the bitterness settles down some, but is still up front with the oak in the background. The spice in the retrohale has completely disappeared and is now a creamy oak. The strength in this third is medium-full.
The main difference between the first and second third is the increased intensity of the black pepper spice (around 40 percent increase). The pepper is by no means an uncomfortable amount but it is now reaching towards the back of my throat. In addition to the black pepper, still the same notes of hay, baking spices and dry nuts. The first thirds medium-light bodied sweet cream is more of an after thought now. Also, there is now an intermittent floral note, something I wish was more consistent. The retrohale remains unchanged with the same elevated levels of black pepper and oak. Finish is also unchanged with lengthy notes of black pepper and faint smokey wood. Body and strength remains at the medium mark.
As this third begins, the bitterness decreases some more and the oak gains some char. A half inch in, the charred oak comes up front with the bitterness in the background. The retrohale is a creamy oak. At three quarters of an inch, some mintiness joins in with the charred oak and bitterness. This is the profile the cigar finishes with. The strength in this third is medium-full.
The first half of the last third mimics the second third. Starting at the halfway mark, a slight harsh bitterness emerges. The bitterness luckily does not over take the other flavors (elevated black pepper, hay, baking spices, dry nuts, intermittent floral notes). Through the nose, still the same increased black pepper and oak. Finish is still long with black pepper and faint smokey wood. Body and strength continues at the medium mark.
Nothing to complain about with the burn as it was razor sharp the entire time. Ash held on in one inch increments.
The burn was especially note worthy for a typically difficult burning perfecto-ish size. Never a touch up or re-light was performed for the two samples I smoked. Total smoking time clocked in at an impressive 2 hours and 36 minutes. Burn line, although a bit uneven to get past the “nipple” foot, corrected itself and was very sharp throughout the remaining time. Ashes held on tight, averaging one inch increments.
The draw was perfect, which is a good accomplishment as the cigar had a few ring gauge changes.
This was an OK cigar. The flavors through the first two thirds were average as it was primarily woodiness with some cream and then some bitterness came in to be a core flavor. This improved in the final third with a better mix of flavors. The strength of this cigar precludes it from being something to recommend to new smokers, but experienced smokers may find it more appealing. With the cigars coming as pairs and the concept it has, I can see this being a good experience with a friend.
The draw, although a tad loose, was still good. I recommend cutting this cigar a little bit at a time to achieve the desired draw.
I especially enjoyed the consistent mixture of wood and pepper. I need to jog my memory and revisit the other Firethorn vitolas (although this Firethorn is a different blend) to see where I ultimately stand with this rendition. Regardless, Robert Holt’s time away from this year’s IPCPR proved fruitful in the Code Duello Limitada 2016 Firethorn. Now I am looking forward to firing up the other Code Duello (Kudzu) down the road.
Southern Draw Cigars » Developing Palates Cigar Review: Code Duello - November 21, 2016
[…] “The wrapper is a medium brown with some very fine veins. The seams are nearly invisible and the caps are perfectly applied. This cigar is an interesting shape as it is a box-pressed perfecto. There is a belicoso type head and then at the foot a very drastic reduction in ring gauge with a small open nipple. The cigar has two bands, the standard Southern Draw band and a secondary band with the Firethorn name. Both bands are gold and multiple shades of red. The cigar actually comes as a two pack and has a blue band that wraps both cigars and has the…” read more […]